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Pimp your jar (+ FREEBIE)

A few weeks ago, I decided that the unorganized state of our kitchen needed immediate action. “It won’t take long,” I told my boyfriend as I rolled up my sleeves and emptied the shelves from all the many jars filled with spices and herbs. Most of them didn’t have any labels. “Now, that won’t do,” I thought, got some paper and sat down on the floor with a pen, ready to make some pretty labels. “Why wouldn’t you design the labels digitally and then just print them out?” my boyfriend asked. “You could even add a nice pattern for the background,” he added. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s go all the way, then!”

Without a clear plan, I started playing with some simple geometric shapes and bright candy colours. After some experimenting, the trial-and-error-approach gave some rather nice results. Obviously, the efficient “this won’t take long” reorganizing project got a bit out of hand, but my inner Martha Stewart really loved the process! Last week I finally had the time to paste the labels on the jars. I’m quite glad with the end result – not only are our kitchen shelves cleaner, but they are also a lot more playful now!

And guess what: you can join the jar decoration movement right now! What a better way to celebrate the end of 2016 than reorganizing the kitchen shelves, eh? To pimp your jars, simply click to my FREEBIES-page, print out the designs and glue them on your jars.

Merry printing & happy New Year!

Illustrated geboortekaart

When someone asks me what kind of projects I most enjoy working on, I always give children’s books as an answer. However, there is also another type of assignment that is very close to my heart, and that is illustrating custom-made cards to mark the special occasions in the lives of my good friends.

When a friend of mine had her first child a few years ago, she commissioned me to illustrate a geboortekaart aka birth announcement card for the baby. (Geboortekaarts are cards that parents in the Netherlands send out to their families, friends, neighbours, colleagues etc in order to announce the name and the strategic measurements of their new family member.) I was honoured to be trusted with that kind of special task and really enjoyed working on such a personal thing. So, when my friend got the happy news for the second time around, my hand was already raised, volunteering for the geboortekaart-job again.

I had drawn a giraffe for the card of the first baby, so I decided to stick with the same concept and draw an exotic animal for her sibling as well.

Here’s sneak peek of the illustration process of little Otto’s* tiger!

*names and information on the card have been changed

sketch-tigerInitial sketches of the character

geboortekaart-tiger-sketch-birthcard-illustrationThe final drawing ready to be made digital

illustrated-birthcard-geboortekaart-tiger-by-Emmi_OjalaVoilá, finished illustration!

Italy

Over the past few years, I’ve been drawing postcards inspired by interesting cities and countries I have travelled to. It all started from a trip to Istanbul…

Typography-Istanbul-Postcard-by-Emmi-Ojala
…and continued with a tribute to my current hometown Amsterdam…Typography-Amsterdam-by-Emmi-Ojala…the overwhelmingly big and beautiful Russian city, St. Petersburg…Typography-illustration-Petersburg-by-Emmi-Ojala…my country of origins, Finland…Typography-Finland-illustration-by-Emmi-Ojala…and finally the latest addition, Italy.Typography-illustration-Italy-by-Emmi-OjalaThe whole idea of these cards was to capture the unique characteristics of the places and their culture – to show the people I would send these cards to what I had seen in these places. Backgammon culture in Istanbul, electric wires above St. Petersbur, cinnamon buns and woollen socks in Finland…What I wanted to show with the Italy-card was the typical colours and style of buildings, the food, the life by the sea and the lush Mediterranean nature. Although the card ended up quite stereotypical with its pizza A and focaccia Y, it is simply because these things are not stereotypes for nothing; you really see them everywhere!

The next city I would like to travel to and make a card of is Berlin. Hopefully I’ll get to draw some bears and pretzels sooner rather than later!